Lucknow: It was the height of government apathy when Additional Chief Secretary Medical Education Anita Bhatnagar Jain did not bother to open her office when at least 60 children have died in past three days due to shortage of oxygen cylinders at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur.
Since the tragedy happened, the government has resorted to blame game holding the supplier firm, Pushpa Sales, responsible. But does the government machinery, which has shown utmost negligence, have no accountability for the deaths of the children?
Shockingly, Anita Bhatnagar was absent from her office with her entire staff on Saturday, as the door of her office was locked from outside.
Anita Bhatnagar Jain had her office closed despite huge political presence at the hospital after the deaths of the children were reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself intervened into the matter seeking a report on the same from the state government. He also sent Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Anupriya Patel, to personally visit the medical college and take cognizance of the matter.
UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh also visited the hospital and gave the entire report to CM Yogi Adityanath. Anita Bhatnagar Jain herself met the CM but it still her office remained closed the entire day.
According to the official sources, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wanted to remove her from the post but could not do so for unknown reasons.
The supplier firm is being blamed as it snapped the oxygen supply to the medical college following unpaid debts of around Rs 70 lakh. But the hospital administration was very well aware of the upcoming problem but it chose not to pay the amount and risk the lives of patients, being ignorant of repeated warnings.
Even a technician of the medical college had penned a letter to the administration informing it about the shortage of liquid oxygen, but no action was taken.